Communications Training: The Noob Guide to Online Marketing

Posted by Lauren Hertel on Sunday, January 1 2012


Lauren Hertel

Although most Switzer Fellows don't consider themselves marketers, we are all responsible to some degree for getting the word out about what we do.  The number one place to do that cheaply and quickly is on the web, but where should you start? 

One of my favorite resources is The Noob Guide to Online Marketing by Oli Gardner.  It is a free 6-month action plan for marketing your business (or research, non-profit, etc.) online.  The tag line in the blog post is "Everything a Non-Marketer Needs to Take a Business from Zero to Hero Online" and I have to agree... this guide is complete!  You probably don't need to do every task in the plan, but taken together they form a complete picture of all the ways you can promote your work (or yourself!) online.

Gardner takes the enormous task of building an online presence and breaks it down into eight core components:

  • Social media marketing, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Email marketing
  • Lead generation
  • Organic search marketing
  • Conversion rate optimization
  • Analytics
  • Content marketing
  • Paid search marketing (pay-per-click)

Each area includes a series of manageable tasks with advice on what to do youself and when to hire outside experts.  For example, under content marketing,  tasks include setting up an editorial calendar and writing an ebook. 

The entire plan rests on the idea that each concept, product, or major division of content should have it's own unique landing page (Gardner's business, Unbounce, specializes in creating landing pages) that can be tweaked and tracked to optimize traffic and conversions.  If this all sounds too technical, it is!  You can skip a lot of the hard core marketing information and jumpt to the tasks themselves.  The focus here is on building an online business, but the tasks are relevant to all kinds of businesses, non-profits, educational institutions and more (including the Switzer Foundation-- we've been implementing the 6-month plan and are almost finished!).  Gardner provides limited technical information on completing the tasks, but does offer excellent links to additonal resources to get you started.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the post, or find a task you'd like us to do a webinar about.  Happy marketing... ahem, I mean getting the word out!

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